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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

*44        HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION

/ store of facts which one might possess or lack and yet remain the
same being.3'* The instruction he wants the teacher to give is
what he calls " educative instruction": instruction, that is,
which has as its ultimate object the forming of character. This is
the practical application of the doctrine that will arises out of the
circle of thought. On that view morality must be based on
knowledge. It is possible that for want of the proper training a
man may not do the right thing, although he knows what the right
thing is. But it is no less true that without knowledge one cannot
be good, " Ignoti nulla atpido—the circle of thought contains the
store of that which can gradually mount by the steps of interest
to desire, and then by means of action to volition.... If inner
assurance and personal interests are wanting, if the store of thought
be meagre, the ground lies open for the animal desires."f Or,
as he puts it in another passage: " Instruction will form the
circle of thought, and education the character. The last is
nothing without the first. Herein is contained the whole sum
of my pedagogy/'t

On this idea of educative instruction depends the whole of
Herbart's practical system. With reference to it, he says, " three
factors have to be considered: the intensity, the range and the
unification of intellectual effort." § What he means is : (a) that
before knowledge in any form can affect character, there must
be interest : the mind must get absorbed in the facts with which
it has to deal and make them its own by personal activity; (b)
that there must not only be interest in particular subjects, but a
varied many-sided interest extending over a wide reach of subjects;
(c] that however many the subjects of interest they must form a
compact mental whole, and provide a proportionate many-sidedness
of interest,

What is this " interest " about which Herbart has so much to
say ? Not the superficial excitement that accompanies play. He
certainly maintains the need for interest as a condition of learning
and criticizes the neglect of present interest in education. " To
be wearisome," he says wisely, ** is the cardinal sin of instruction."
Yet he never confuses work and play. The interest he desires is
not the extraneous interest that passes away and leaves the soul
unmoved, but the deep and living interest that goes along with

* Outlines, p. 44.            f Science of Education, p. 213,

J Ibid., p. 93 n.             § Outlines, p. 49.